MATT Quin is set to return to Essex’s squad today as they travel to face Middlesex at Lord’s for their third Specsavers County Championship match of the season.

Having beaten last year’s competition runners-up, Somerset, by eight wickets last weekend, Essex now turn their attentions to the reigning champions.

Regular Gazette columnist Quinn is named in a 13-man squad with the paceman returning from a long injury lay-off and replacing all-rounder Ashar Zaidi from the group that travelled to Taunton.

Essex head coach, Chris Silverwood, admits that he is satisfied in the manner his squad have adjusted to life back in the top-flight of domestic cricket.

“So far, so good, although it’s early days of course,” he said.

“We knew it would be a challenge and there was obviously a steep learning curve in our first match with Lancashire.

“Then there was a bit of a dog-fight with Somerset but in both matches, we scored the runs in the second innings, firstly to save the Lancashire match and then to pull off a superb win against Somerset.

“Although we needed to score the highest total of the match to win at Taunton, we weren’t fazed by the prospect.

“It shows what character we do have within the group and I think it sends out a strong message that we are here in division one to make our presence felt.

“You can see the confidence in the squad and in individual players plus the good thing is that there is genuine competition for places in the starting line-up.”

Essex will again have former England captain Alastair Cook available.

Essex squad: Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk), Varun Chopra, Nick Browne, Simon Harmer, Neil Wagner, Aaron Beard, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara, Alastair Cook, Dan Lawrence, Jamie Porter, Matt Quinn.